Margins Winter Appeal

Margins Winter Appeal

17 January 2024

In these cold months of rising costs, demand for our services continues to grow as more find themselves in critical living crisis.

Help us improve lives with our immediate and long-term services, needed now more than ever, of food, support, community, engagement, training, and hope.

Thanks to all who have donated and shared. This season, you've helped us raise £3089 to support our work and community. Donations are open year round.


The Margins Project works with and for those facing homelessness, living crisis, and pertinent social justice issues. We aim to improve the lives of those in hardship by breaking cycles of unemployability, and by empowering them to take, as a decisive step towards independence, agency over their situation and tackle the social injustice they face.

Since 2020, demand has more than doubled and continues to grow, proving the critical need for our essential frontline work for the growing number of people finding themselves in desperate and immediate situations. We need your help more than ever.  

It’s no wonder that more guests need our services with soaring prices of food, rent, energy, bills, childcare, and more are forcing many into dire situations. 

As the bite of Winter cold has truly arrived, we anticipate more guests requiring our support and a sense of community and hope, all whilst The Margins Project also struggles against the cost-of-living crisis eating away at our capacity and resources. 

Please consider donating and you could help fund
  • £7 One on-table nutritious meal served to a guest at our Drop Ins. 
  • £10 Weekly support of one guest at our Drop Ins 
  • £25 One Advice & Engagement appointment. 
  • £35 Five on-table nutritious meals served to a guest at our Drop Ins. 
  • £50 One day of training at our accredited Supported Employment Programme. 
  • £70 Ten on-table nutritious meals served to a guest at our Drop Ins. 
  • £180 One Advice & Engagement individual casework. 
  • £1,250 One month of training at our accredited Supported Employment Programme. 


What We Do

Based at ethical independent arts venue and church Union Chapel in Islington, which, despite the borough’s wealthy image, is among the most deprived 17% local authorities in Britain with high rates of homelessness, unemployment, loneliness, and child poverty. 

We believe that everyone deserves an opportunity to flourish and realise their potential. Our step-by-step and long-term services include; 

  • Drop-in Service - frontline contact for those in crisis. 60 - 80 guests enjoy nutritious hot meals in welcoming dining atmosphere, access to showers, laundry, IT, library corner, community engagement and more.

“I depend on Margins for more than hot food, they make me feel very happy, like a valid human being, a real person & not a non-entity, I feel like an individual.”

  • Housing, Benefits Advice and Engagement - aims to improve the living condition of people by providing specialist legal advice, end-to-end casework, skills development,  referrals to health, debt management, immigration and domestic violence support.

"I wouldn't be where I am now if I hadn't been assisted by Nick with his support work skills" 

  • Supported Employment Programme - paid accredited hospitality training, mentoring, networking and referrals improving chances of employability among people with lived experience of homelessness, drug misuse and/or criminal records to gain transferrable life and work skills to break the circuity and lives long term. 

"I always look forward to going to work there. Before, I did not want to get out of bed, but because of them I have built up my confidence. This is a good project, and I will always be thankful." 


Why help this year? 
  • Margins guests increased by 24% since 2021-22 and by 119% since 2019-20, with 385 guests supported last year.
  • In 2022-23, we advocated, prevented evictions, won benefits refusal appeals, advised and upskilled 205 guests around housing and welfare issues. 
  • We’ve just started, in partnership our Union Chapel Church, a fortnightly barber service for our guests, boosting hygiene, independence, and confidence in the community. 
  • We have trained, upskilled and referred 11 trainees as part of our Supported Employment Programme. 
  • We have run a five-week applied theatre and forum theatre workshops for people experiencing homelessness and/or navigating mental health support.

Every donation or share of this page helps. Please join our fight to improve lives.


Or share our social media posts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Download our campaign assets to share here. Lead photos by Archie Powell.

Listen to Head of Margins discuss the urgent need and appeal on BBC Radio London from 2:36:50 here.
"We need to look after our most vulnerable. Union Chapel is not just a venue; it is the centre of the hub. It is a community organisation. It is a space of belonging."

Read about The Big Issue's visit to our Drop In here.
"There’s good support if you need it. You’ve got to ask for help. And don’t give up.”

Film by Archie Powell.

Hear more from those we've helped...

"Coming to Margins has been vital to me. The staff and the system set up are really good. The food is outstanding. Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming. The atmosphere is also very good." 

"I live alone so I find this place so beautiful, so comforting, and the people are full of compassion for us" 

"The food’s so delicious and nice, so I start coming there every day ‘cause food’s so lovely!" 

"Margins has given me loads of confidence. They’ve given me the opportunity to play with that confidence" 

"I had a horrid upbringing, but I have done a lot of things in my life. I have been a singer; I’ve have sold paintings in Italy where I lived there for a while. When I came back, I was attacked and was put in a women’s refuge, then I did volunteering for a couple of years After that, I worked part-time making beds, which I hated. The manager was horrible. I fell into depression and went for counselling. From there I met Beverly from St Giles. She took me to the Margins Homeless Project, where I met my boss Iraj and started working in the kitchen. The team at Margins have made me feel so welcome. I always look forward to going to work there. Before, I did not want to get out of bed, but because of them I have built up my confidence. This is a good project, and I will always be thankful." 


Dine at the Margins Cafe: delicious meals served before Union Chapel live shows.

These meals are prepared with the help of our trainees and are made available to audience members ahead of live events at Union Chapel as well as to the artists perform them.

“Tasty food & good value for money. Even better to know profits help people in need” 
“Lovely homey meal made with lots of love and served with a smile which makes it taste even better!” 
“Phenomenal!!! And chef amazing with allergy advice. Keep doing what you’re doing!” 
“Your food is good for the soul” 

"Always choose here over a restaurant. Keep up the great work!”

“Lovely homey meal made with lots of love and served with a smile which makes it taste even better!”

Reserve your place at the table for free by clicking 'Book For A Pre-Show Dinner' on corresponding live events here.

Margins Café can also be hired for external events. Find out under 'Book Our Catering' here.

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